Asthma History: Asthma-like symptoms were first described as far back as ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, with the term asthma being first used by ancient Greek scribes to describe short, gasping breaths. Its Greek form was ἅσθμα. Around 800 B.C. Homer mentioned asthma in his epic poem The Iliad. He used it to refer to dyspnea (air hunger) from exertion and from mortal battle wounds. Four hundred years later the term was defined for the medical community by Hippocrates. The term was then used for most of history as a rubric term covering any medical condition causing dyspnea. Slowly, as time progressed, the term was further defined by physicians, with diseases such as cardiac asthma, kidney asthma, bronchitis, and catarrh (allergies or the common cold) branching off to become disease entities of their own. In this way, all respiratory ailments owe their roots to asthma.
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Disclaimer: Keep in mind this is a blog written, edited, and published by the same person. Research is conducted, and blogposts written, in the few free hours that come available in an otherwise busy life as a husband, dad, respiratory therapist, columnist, and blogger. This blog has been put together in good faith to share what I have learned about our history.